What a whirlwind of a first week. I have so much that I want to write and update you all on; the city of
Let’s start with the city of
We are a 15 minute walk, or 5 minute, approx 40 cent (10 rubles) tram ride from the city center, downtown. There are over 50 churches in the city, most of them with colorful onion domes and spires. There are a wealth of centuries-old churches, museums, monuments, memorials, homes, a monastery and a massive cathedral that is set to be ready for the city’s millennial anniversary. Construction is also ongoing for what will one day, by the looks of the designs, be a beautiful planetarium.
Two memorials stick out when thinking about the city. In one park there is a massive black and gold pillar for some reason dedicated to the state university in
There is a statue in the city center honoring the city’s founder,
There are a ton of stray dogs and cats in the city. We saw one cute cat walking alone in the supermarket and another dog narrowly miss being hit by a car. None of the locals of course seem to think this out of the ordinary.
The Hotel Kotorosl and Russian Food
Mayonnaise, sour cream and dill are staple of pretty much every dish. Not sure why exactly, and not all that pleasing considering I like none of the three, but now that I know how to saw no sour cream “nie nada svitana” I feel a little bit better about my chances.
The hotel is nice. The room has gotten noticeably warmer since my last post, so that’s good. There is still a booming woman’s voice every night, all night, that directs the cargo trains to contend with. CCS programs in other countries, like
Meals from the hotel are included with our program fee. Jaime and I decided that we consider breakfast to be a roll with butter or jam and a fruit yogurt. Those two are our staples. On the rare occasions we like what they are serving that day, like cheese blintzes, it’s a big plus. Most of the time, like the days with the cheesy egg-y soufflé and the hot dogs this morning, there is no plus.
Lunch is a salad, soup and a main entrée. Dinner has no soup, but does come with dessert. Dinners have included potato balls with mushroom inside, dim sum dumplings with sour cream, rice with vegetables and other dishes. One lunch lowlight was the beef stroganoff which I wrote off as stale meat and continued eating until I was informed it was liver.
The menu is set, so we just get to sit and eat, and don’t worry about struggling with ordering. We get along fine. It’s an interesting balance between trying to experience more of the culture through its food and trying to enjoy your meal especially for someone as picky as me.